Places, Images, Times & Transformations

The Sound of (Japanese) Music Part I: Koto: Its Music and Musicians, Yesterday and Today

Part One of The (Sound) of Japanese Music Series.

This session features a discussion and performance on the koto by Dr. Anne Prescott. Music for the koto is a living, evolving tradition shaped by its past. Explore the history, present and future possibilities of the music and musicians of the koto world. This presentation will also include a brief overview and timeline of traditional Japanese music genres. It will also highlight playing technique and notation as well as the  performance a selection of short songs for Koto.



Anne Prescott is the director of the Five College Center for East Asian Studies in Massachusetts and is one of the seven NCTA national directors. Trained as an ethnomusicologist, she has been studying about Japan since she began playing the koto as a sophomore at Cornell College in Iowa. She spent eight years living and studying koto and shamisen in Japan, including one year as a research student at Tokyo University of the Arts. She is the editor of and contributing author to East Asia in the World: An Introduction (Routledge 2015), which won the Association for Asian Studies’ Buchanan Prize in 2016.